In her monthly report to the board, State Superintendent Janet Barresi told board members the state was one of 11 to submit a flexibility request with the federal government on Monday under the No Child Left Behind Act. The state should know if its request is granted by January, she said.
“We looked at the overriding goal of achieving the individual growth of students and allowing teachers to teach to the individual student versus trying to reach an overall benchmark,” Barresi told board members.
The application is available online for download here:http://sde.ok.gov/sde/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/FlexRequest.pdf
The state Board of Education voted to rescind previously adopted emergency rules required by Senate Bill 280, regarding online courses offered by school districts.
Superintendent Barresi told the board the emergency rules were originally drafted to comply with state law that went into effect in July, giving school districts guidance. After passage of the rules, however, confusion developed around the requirements of the law itself.
Barresi said rescinding the rules would allow for further clarification from lawmakers when the 2012 Legislative session starts in February. It also will allow for definitions of supplemental online courses and educational appropriateness as well as guidance and answers to questions regarding local board control, staffing decisions and funding.
New rules will be drafted through the permanent rule making process, allowing SDE to collaborate with multiple stakeholders — including educational organizations, legislators, school district leaders and educators across the state. In the meantime, SDE will distribute a guidance package to school districts.
Barresi also told board members that work continues on the state’s student longitudinal data system. The state department is receiving feedback from various people around the state including those in school districts, workforce development and higher education on the type of data needed.
“The underpinning of success in any endeavor is the accuracy of the data,” Barresi said.
In other business, the board agreed to grant an exception to the Achieving Classroom Excellence graduation requirement for a student in Lawton Public Schools. The student is a child of a military family that has moved to a state where a U.S. history exam cannot be made available. The student has requested to return to graduate in Lawton. The board’s decision will allow that.
The board also voted to allow a change to the transportation boundaries of the White Oak Public School District in Craig County. Surrounding districts of Bluejacket, Vinita and Chelsea will now be allowed to transport high school in the White Oak District, which no longer has a high school.